Normal Testosterone Levels

Men need to maintain normal testosterone levels, or androgens, as this hormone is responsible for the normal growth and development of male sex organs and the maintenance of secondary sex characteristics.

Without enough testosterone you will feel anxious, depressed, and develop a low sex drive.

Furthermore, low levels of testosterone will contribute to a decline in muscle mass and strength which will in turn increase upper body fat and abdominal fat.

In the long term, by the time you reach your 60's the constant drop in testosterone will have not only caused obesity but also brittle bones and impotence. For a more detailed read on - what does testosterone do - click on the preceding link.

Normal Testosterone Levels

The normal level of testosterone in the bloodstream is still a point of heated debate. Some studies and experts will argue that it's between 200 and 1,200 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dl) and others will state it's more like 300 to 1000ng/dl.

For women, the range is subject of less debate. The normal testosterone level for women is between 15 to 80ng/dl.

The average level for men aged 15 to 24 is 750ng/dl. The level of testoterone will gradually drop at a rate of about 1% (up to 2%) per year after age 20.

Men who have too much testosterone may experience premature baldness, irritability and a short temper. However, it is well documented that the general health of men with overly high levels of testosterone is much better than the health of men with low testosterone levels.

Normal Testosterone Levels - Testing

A very accurate test of Free Testosterone function is measured using the the Free Androgen Index (F.A.I.). Experts agree that this is the definitive test of age-related decline in testosterone levels.

The value is determined by dividing the level of total testosterone by the sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG). Since testosterone is measured in ng/dl, and SHBG is measured in nmol/L you must multiply this by a conversion factor of .035 to get the true ratio. The ratio should normally be in the range of 0.70- 1.00.

Take a look at the graph below to see what the slope of decline in testosterone levels is for men. We suggest looking at the "FREE TEST" slope as it is the one that's most representative of the true value (rate) of decline.

normal testosterone levels, what does testosterone do,

To give you a different perspective on the testosterone range and allow you to understand what the "benchmark" of excellent testosterone level is we will illustrate using the example of athletes.

Competitive athletes who need strength, speed, agility and stamina need to have around 850ng/dl or higher to optimize strength gains, speed-up recovery and to have an aggressive drive to compete. Some athletes have this level naturally due to a combination of their young age, regular exercise regimen, proper diet, natural testosterone supplements and perhaps good genetics as well.

Some athletes who have (somewhere around 600ng/dl for example), which is too low, may be tempted to resort to artificial (doping) means to elevate their testosterone levels and thereby improve performance.

Thus, the athletes (and coaches) are aware that the further they get from this benchmark the fewer chances they will have to achieve peak performance even with hard work and training.

Hence, as time goes on, age-related testosterone declines set in and the days of peak performance and high testosterone levels become a thing of the past leaving the 850ng/dl benchmark an unreachable goal.

What does this mean for the average Joe?

Well, you may not be looking to be a professional athlete but your "benchmark" or goal should be to be in the upper testosterone level range given your age group.

If you are a person that doesn't do any exercise and perhaps even smokes and drinks and has an unbalanced diet you can expect to be in the lower testosterone range for your age group.

However, if you exercise moderately and try to lead a healthy life in terms of eating properly and avoiding too much alcohol and smoking you will most likely be in the upper value range.

Thus, if you can be even a little bit above average for your age group then you are doing something right!

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